Soldiers Remain By Choice In Iraqi Region
Sometimes you think people are predictable, and sometimes you will discover they surprise you. One such incident happened recently in Iraq with the coalition soldiers there. The Lithuanian soldiers serving had been given a choice regarding their service tour.
The government of Lithuania voted to extend the tour in Iraq for 60 days, but the current group of soldiers serving in Contingent 10, Wolf Brigade had a choice. They could choose to return, and be replaced by new soldiers from Lithuania who would serve for 60 days, or they could choose to stay, either individually or as a cohesive unit.
“All of our soldiers were packed, so I simply asked for volunteers,” said Lieutenant General Vaidas Tutkus.
General Tutkus is the Chief of Defense for Lithuania.
Of the 40 soldiers that work in the platoon, 29 of them chose to remain. Of the other 11, each of them wished to remain but could not for family reasons. The 100 percent willingness was surprising to some, but not to General Tutkus.
“Without their willingness, we would be stuck,” said General Tutkus.
The willingness of the soldiers to extend was a sign of their success and the closeness that they had in dealing with the citizens in Iraq. Their decision to stay also was warmly regarded by the citizens, many of whom have developed a close warm friendship with many of the Lithuanian soldiers.